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Bill and Melinda Gates Pell Eligible Scholarship Foundation Awards 2020 – Application Open

Bill and Melinda Gates Pell Eligible Scholarship Foundation Awards 2020 – Application Open


The Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship Foundation  kicked off in the year 2000 and the first batch of scholars received their awards in 2001.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme was established in October 2000 by a donation of US$210m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge; this is the largest ever single donation to a UK university.

For 2020 entry, Gates Cambridge will offer 800 full-cost scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. Approximately two-thirds of these awards will be offered to PhD and Masters students, with approximately 25 awards available in the US round and 55 percent available in the International round.

The Objective of the Gates Cambridge programme is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.


Applications for 2020 entry are now open.

We are delighted that you are interested in applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

In this section you will find information about the programme which will help you make the best possible application. Please read through all pages to find out if you are eligible, how to apply and full details about the scholarship.

  • outstanding intellectual ability
  • reasons for choice of course
  • a commitment to improving the lives of others
  • leadership potential
  • Must be an International Student

Gates Scholarship Ideal Candidate

While you hope to win the Gate and Melinda scholarship award, the foundation requires you to have certain qualities.

An ideal candidate will have:

  •  An outstanding academic record in high school (in the top 10% of his/her graduating class),
  • Demonstrated leadership ability (e.g., as shown through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities), and
  • Exceptional personal success skills (e.g., emotional maturity, motivation, perseverance, etc.).


  • Gates Cambridge Statement The statement is used by the Gates Cambridge shortlisting committees to distinguish between candidates who have been highly ranked by departments on academic grounds.

This is a statement from the prospective awardee which will focus on the the four main criteria which includes

  1. Academic Excellence
  2. Reasons for choice of course
  3. A commitment to improving lives of others
  4. A capacity for Leadership
  • Research proposal (PhD applicants only)

Gates Cambridge requires PhD applicants only to submit a research proposal as part of their application for funding.

  • Gates Cambridge reference

In addition to two academic references for admission, Gates Cambridge applicants submit a reference about their fit with the scholarship.

If I am selected as a Scholar and need to take a year off from school, would that affect my scholarship funding?

Scholarship recipients will receive funding for a maximum of five years of study, with the expectation that s/he will complete a bachelor’s degree during that period.

However, should the need arise, a student may seek approval to defer the next period of study, for up to one year. No scholarship funds would be disbursed to the student for that period.

We encourage students on deferment to work with The Gates Scholarship Scholar Advocates, and to utilize on-campus academic support services, to remain engaged and to help facilitate re-enrollment and graduation


03 December 2019 and 06 January 2020 Respectively depending on the department you are applying for.


You may apply for admission to a postgraduate degree, a College place and various sources of funding (including Gates Cambridge) via the University’s Graduate Applicant Portal. Full details can be found at official scholarship website.

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